San Bernardino Dispensary Unionizes

A cannabis dispensary in the Inland Empire has unionized following a weekend vote.

The Authentic 909 dispensary in the City of San Bernardino this week announced that employees voted on Saturday to ratify a labor agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1167.

The UFCW Local 1167 currently represents more than 20,000 members who work in supermarkets, drug stores, pharmacies, warehouses, packing plants, health facilities, and other job sites in San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial Counties.

The ratification makes Authentic 909, which is owned by Nibble This, LLC (Nibble This), the first unionized cannabis shop in the Inland Empire, according to a press release.

UFCW Local 1167 President Joe Duffle says that Nibble This and the union negotiated the contract under the premise that workers want dignity and deserve respect on the job in California’s growing cannabis industry.

Duffle notes that the cannabis employer Perfect Union has recently negotiated contracts with UFCW locals in Northern California as well as New Mexico.

“Workers in this sector across California and the country are joining the UFCW because our focus is on creating good-paying union jobs that provide people with a living wage, excellent health and retirement benefits and the best job protections,” says Duffle. “This first contract delivers on all fronts. We are gratified this employer is treating its workers right and serving the community with good, sustainable jobs.”

Earlier this month, Nibble This and UFCW Local 1167 conducted a workshop focused on assisting members of the community reclassify low-level convictions on their records to help make obtaining housing and employment easier.

Nibble This founder and Chief Executive Raquel Origel says that cannabis legalization is creating economic opportunities and making communities safer across California and other states.

Origel says that it is important that the benefits of legalization are shared fairly and broadly, including with the workers who are helping build the industry.